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However, Hemingway met Theodore Brumback, a fellow reporter with vision in only one eye at the Star, who suggested that Hemingway volunteer for the American Field Service as an ambulance driver. Hemingway's yearning to join the war effort was rekindled, and six months after he began his career as a newspaper reporter, he and Brumback resigned from the Star, said goodbye to their families, and headed to New York for their physicals. Hemingway received a B rating and was advised to get some glasses. The letters that Hemingway wrote home to his parents while he was waiting to sail overseas were jubilant.

The voyage from New York to France aboard the Chicago, however, was less exultant.

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Hemingway's second typhoid shot had left him nauseated and aching, and rough seas sent him retching to the rails several times. Shortly after they settled in, a munitions factory exploded, and Hemingway was stunned to discover that "the dead are more women than men.

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Wanting to see more action, he traveled to the Austro-Italian border, where he finally had a sense of being at the wartime front. During this time near the Austro-Italian border, Hemingway was severely wounded. An Austrian projectile exploded in the trenches and sent shrapnel ripping into his legs. Trying to carry an Italian soldier to safety, Hemingway caught a machine-gun bullet behind his kneecap and one in his foot. A few days later, he found himself on a train, returning to Milan. Later, writing about being wounded, he recalled that he felt life slipping from him.

Ernest Hemingway

Some literary critics believe that it was this near death experience that obsessed Hemingway with a continual fear of death and a need to test his courage that lasted the rest of his life. A few months later, the war was over and Hemingway returned to the States with a limp and a fleeting moment of celebrity.

All of his friends were gone, and he received a letter from a nurse with whom he'd fallen in love while he was hospitalized. The news was not good: She had fallen in love with an Italian lieutenant. Ten years later, this nurse would become the model for the valiant Catherine Barkeley in A Farewell to Arms.

Returning to the north woods to find his emotional moorings, Hemingway fished, wrote some short-story sketches, and enjoyed a brief romance that would figure in "The End of Something" and "The Three-Day Blow. Tutoring the boy and filling a scrapbook with writings in Canada, Hemingway then headed back to the Midwest, where he met Hadley Richardson, seven years older than he and an heiress to a small trust fund.

Hadley fell in love with Hemingway. Hemingway's ever-fretting, over-protective mother thought that Hadley was exactly what her rootless son needed; she prodded Hemingway to settle down and give up his gypsy travels and short-term, part-time jobs. Despite his fears that marriage would destroy his way of living, Hemingway married Hadley, and they set up housekeeping, living on income from her trust fund.

Soon, near-poverty depleted Hemingway's usual good nature, and friends urged him to move to Paris, where living expenses would be cheaper. In Paris, Hemingway and Hadley lived in the Latin Quarter, a bohemian enclave of artists, poets, and writers. The Toronto Sun bought the articles that Hemingway submitted, as well as his political sketches, and Hemingway was pleased about the short stories he was writing. He was twenty-three years old and felt that he'd finally hit his stride as an author with a style that was authentically his own. While there, he urged Hadley to join him, and she did so, bringing all of his short stories, sketches, and poems in a valise that would be stolen in the Lyon train station.

Hemingway was so stunned with disbelief at the terrible loss that he immediately returned to Paris, convinced that Hadley surely hadn't packed even the carbon copies of his stories, but she had. Hemingway had lost everything that he'd written. Ironically, American expatriate and writer Gertrude Stein had just spoken to Hemingway about loss, mentioning a garage keeper's off-hand comment: "You are all a lost generation," a casual remark, yet one that eventually would become world famous after Hemingway used it as an epigraph to his first major novel, The Sun Also Rises This term "lost generation" would be instantly meaningful to Hemingway's readers.

It would give a name to the attitudes of the post-World War I generation of Americans, especially to the young writers of that era who believed that their loves and hopes had been shattered by the war. They had been led down a glory trail to death — not for noble patriotic ideals, but for the greedy, materialistic gains of international power groups.

The high-minded sentiments of their elders were not to be trusted; only reality was truth — and reality was harsh: Life was futile, often meaningless. After the loss of his manuscripts, Hemingway followed Stein's advice to go to Spain; she promised him that he'd find new stories there. After his sojourn in Spain, Hemingway returned to Paris and from there to Canada, where Hadley gave birth to their first child.

Hemingway and Hadley were divorced in , and he married Pauline Pfeiffer, an Arkansas heiress, who accompanied him to Africa, traveling miles by train to reach Nairobi, and onward to the Kapti Plains, the foothills of the Ngong Hills, and the Serengeti Plain. In , Hemingway and Pauline were divorced, and he married writer Martha Gellhorn. They toured China, then established a residence in Cuba. When World War II began, Hemingway volunteered his services and his fishing boat, the Pilar, and cooperated with United States naval intelligence as a German submarine spotter in the Caribbean.

Wanting a still-more-active role in the war, Hemingway soon was a year-old war correspondent barnstorming through Europe with the Allied invasion troops — and sometimes ahead of them. It is said that Hemingway liberated the Ritz Hotel in Paris and that when the Allied troops arrived, they were greeted by a notice on the entrance: "Papa Hemingway took good hotel.

Plenty stuff in the cellar.

Ernest Hemingway's Unbelievable Real-Life Story

Following yet another divorce, this one in , Hemingway married Mary Welsh, a Time magazine correspondent. The couple lived in Venice for a while, then returned to Havana, Cuba. In , Across the River and into the Trees appeared, but it was neither a critical nor a popular success.

His short novel The Old Man and the Sea , however, restored Hemingway's literary stature, and he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in literature. In January , Hemingway was off for another of his many African safaris and was reported dead after two airplane crashes in two days. He survived, though, despite severe internal and spinal injuries and a concussion.

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The discovery of his father's apparent lack of courage, later depicted in the short story "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," and his suicide several years later left the boy with an emotional scar. Despite the intense pleasure Hemingway took from outdoor life and his popularity in high school—where he distinguished himself as a scholar and athlete—he ran away from home twice. However, his first real chance for escape came in , when the United States entered World War I —18; a war in which forces clashed for European control.

Eager to serve his country in the war, he volunteered for active service in the infantry foot soldiers but was rejected because of eye trouble. Hemingway then enlisted in the Red Cross medical service, driving an ambulance on the Italian front. He was badly wounded in the knee yet carried a wounded man on his back a considerable distance to the aid station.

After having over two hundred shell fragments parts of bullets removed from his legs and body, Hemingway next enlisted in the Italian infantry, served on the Austrian front until the armistice truce , and was decorated for bravery by the Italian government.

Hemingway soon returned home where he was hailed as a hero. Shortly after the war Hemingway worked as a foreign correspondent in the Near East for the Toronto Star. When he returned to Michigan he had already decided to commit himself to fiction writing. His excellent journalism and the publication in magazines of several experimental short stories had impressed the well-known author Sherwood Anderson — , who, when Hemingway decided to return to Ernest Hemingway. Reproduced by permission of the Corbis Corporation. Europe, gave him letters of introduction to Gertrude Stein — and Ezra Pound — —two American writers living in Europe.

Hemingway and his bride, Hadley Richardson, journeyed to Paris, where he learned much from these two well-known authors. Despite his lack of money and poor living conditions, these were the happiest years of Hemingway's life, as well as the most artistically productive.


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The poems are insignificant, but the stories give strong indication of his emerging genius. With In Our Time Hemingway drew on his experiences while summering in Michigan to depict the initiation into the world of pain and violence of young Nick Adams, a model for later Hemingway heroes. Hemingway returned to the United States in with the manuscripts of two novels and several short stories. This novel, the major statement of the "lost generation," describes a group of Americans and Englishmen, all of whom have suffered physically and emotionally during the war.

In December A Farewell to Arms was published. This novel tells the story of a tragic love affair between an American soldier and an English nurse set against the backdrop of war and collapsing world order. It contains a philosophical expression of the Hemingway code that man is basically helpless in a violent age: "The world breaks everyone," reflects the main character, "and afterward many are strong in the broken places.

But those that it will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of those you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry. Hemingway revealed his passionate interest in bull-fighting in Death in the Afternoon , a humorous and unique nonfiction study. A wonderfully clear narrative, it is written in less lyrical and more dramatic prose nonpoetry writing than his earlier work.

Following the critical and popular success of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway lapsed into a literary silence that lasted a full decade and was largely the result of his strenuous, frequently reckless, activities during World War II —45; a war in which France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States fought against Germany, Italy, and Japan. In , as a Collier's correspondent with the Third Army, he witnessed some of the bloodiest battles in Europe. At this time he received the nickname of "Papa" from his admirers, both military and literary.

His three previous marriages—to Hadley Richardson, mother of one son; to Pauline Pfeiffer, mother of his second and third sons; and to Martha Gelhorn—had all ended in divorce. In The Old Man and the Sea was published. A novella short novel about an extraordinary battle between a tired old Cuban fisherman and a giant marlin, it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in A year later, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Hemingway's declining physical condition and increasingly severe mental problems drastically reduced his literary output in the last years of his life. A journey to Africa planned by the author and his wife in ended in their plane crash over the Belgian Congo. Hemingway suffered severe burns and internal injuries from which he never fully recovered.